Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday termed terrorism as the biggest threat to the country and said his government was committed to eliminate this menace through "determination and courage".
"I want to reiterate that we are not scared of the terrorists. We will eliminate their oppression and barbarity through our determination and courage," Gilani said in Islamabad at the flag hoisting ceremony on Pakistan's 63rd Independence Day, the APP new agency reported.
He said the country and the people were confronting a serious challenge posed by terrorists, and defended the military offensive against the militants in Swat and Malakand divisions.
"We opted for peaceful means to resolve this issue. But we had to take a difficult and inevitable decision to initiate military action in the best national interest when our peace efforts and patience were construed as our weakness...
"The entire nation has stood up against these elements and we would defeat their evil designs to make this country secure and peaceful."
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said the country is currently fighting against extremism and terrorism and "this is not a fight based on religion, ethnicity, sub-nationalism, or provincialism".
He said that a terrorist has no caste, creed or religion.
"He (Terrorist) respects no boundaries and has no nationality. Extremists are those who have blinded themselves in a self righteous mode and are not amenable to reason and logic," Kayani said at the Independence Day parade at the Military Academy in Kakul, a hill town in North West Frontier Province.